Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena has shouldered the blame for the club’s exit in the CAF Champions League semifinal after they were beaten by Esperance in the second leg held at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.

Substitute Raed Bouchniba scored the game’s only goal in the second half, helping the Tunisian giants to a 2-0 aggregate victory.

The match was temporarily halted for about an hour due to inclement weather conditions that resulted in the floodlights going off.

Despite the heartbreaking loss in front of the Yellow Faithful, Rulani promised to give his all in helping the club claim a second Champions League crown.

“I made a promise to the Sundowns fans that we will win it and I am a man of integrity. I want to be at this club, I signed a four-year contract even though I had bigger clubs making offers.

“I made a choice to stay at Sundowns, I didn’t make that choice because I was emotional but it was after a lot of deliberations with my family, with the Motspe family and the players.

“My intentions are to be here, to stay and do my best every single day to try and deliver the Champions League. But football is business and results-oriented and I don’t make those decisions about which coach stays and which coach goes.

“But when I am here the club will know that I will give 150 percent and if it is not enough like today, I will give 200 percent the next time,” a shattered Rulani told the media.

It is the second year running that Rulani’s men have fallen at the semifinal hurdle, with the Brazilians knocked out by Wydad Casablanca in last year’s showpiece.

“I am only in my first year as the head coach of Mamelodi Sundowns, but I have been here as a co-coach not for three years. If you count those three years as a co-head coach, we have won league titles, the Nedbank Cup, MTN8, and a continental trophy. “When I look at my tenure on my return to Sundowns, I feel very proud and privileged that I could contribute to this football club. It is part of the process and I am here to serve like many of us in the technical team.

“We do everything that we can, to try and help the club and at the end there needs to be a leader in front during bad moments and he can take the backseat in good moments.

“But in the bad moments, I have to be in front, take responsibility and shoulder the blame for the Champions League exit.

Sundowns will turn their attention to the DStv Premiership where they face TS Galaxy on Monday afternoon. On Thursday they face Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium.